Raven Interviews Wakako Kawagoshi-Fisher of American Horrors
A while ago we had the annual Women in Horror Month. This is something I find odd, we do not have a Men in Horror Month or Scream Kings so why do we have Scream Queens and a Women in horror month? To that end we should be celebrating women in horror every month! Because of this we wanted to bring light to a women in the horror industry who silently works away in the background yet deserves far more credit than she gets, Waka Of American Horrors.
Recently I got the chance to interview Waka and below you can see how it went.
Q: How is it to be the female presence behind the curtains of American Horrors?
A: I’m very happy with where I am and eager for more! I get to edit our original programming for my own channel, American Horrors, and I get to program horror movies, shows, music videos for my own channel! I love my job! I’m a bit shy and Hart is very outgoing, so it works out well between Hart and I. Hart is the face of American Horrors and he is handling all the media. He’s being interviewed, being on radio shows promoting American Horrors on top of having his own radio show “Hart Attack” with Josh Hadley on Jackalope radio. He’s out there meeting up with filmmakers and bands making deals with them. He’s the one having business meetings. He’s the one on the phone networking. I stay behind the curtains, doing the nuts and bolts work and I love it. I was fine staying behind the curtains, but Hart started talking about me, and I got my very first interview with you guys! Thank you for the opportunity! I’ve never really thought about my presence as a female in particular… but, I’m sure my perspective as a female adds a layer of flavor to American Horrors, plus it shields American Horrors somewhat from certain criticism when it is a female that is the one who’s doing most of the programming when we’re dealing with horror movies with lots of nudity, rape, sadism and violence against women. Nobody can say, hey, that’s misogynistic or sexist or demeaning to women or stuff like that. I’m happy that Hart trusts me and I can decide what to program on American Horrors without confirming with him. We have mutual respect for each other. He listens to my opinions and I do his. It works out very well.
Sure, I’m his wife, but if my taste was shit, if I were a bad editor, or if I were a stupid bitch, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have been doing for American Horrors. So, it’s awesome! Hahaha. American Horrors is free to watch, so go ahead and check it out : http://www.filmon.com/channel/american-horrors
Q: What other women from the horror genre inspire you?
A: I was really impressed with the Soska sisters when I met them in person and saw their movie “American Mary” at their LA Premier at the Chinese Theatre a couple of years ago. I think they are great writers / directors and I admire them for taking risks. Plastic surgery and body modification is a very touchy subject and they did it very well. They know how to make their movie look like money with little budget and time. They have a great crew and cast. Sure, they’re hot twins but they are way more than that. I’m not a writer or a director, but they inspire me to be a better editor, and I hope they’ll keep climbing up the ladder.
American Horrors also plays horror shorts by female directors like Annette Martinez and Traycee King and they are all talented and impressive! Annette Martinez and her partner Lou Garcia believed in American Horrors and made deals with us from the get-go. She’s a very talented director and her horror shorts get better every time. We are playing 4 shorts of hers on our channel. Traycee King created the award winning zombie web series “8.13”, her sister Rachel King became the director midway through the series, and it’s awesome. We are playing the series on Satanic Sundays on American Horrors. We are very fortunate to be able to work with so many talented people.
Q: Is it true that behind any successful man there is a strong woman?
A: I don’t know if it’s true or not….. I think it’s case by case. I don’t consider myself a strong woman although Hart keeps telling me I am. Hahaha. I think if a man or woman has a partner whom he or she can trust and know that they will be there for them no matter what, and they don’t have to worry about any drama or betrayal, I think having a partner like that is a success itself.
I guess the definition of success is different from person to person and my definition of success might not be the same as others’ but if you are with a partner that you love, respect and trust and you’ve been with that person for a long time and happy, then you’re successful, in my opinion! Some people consider having power and money is successful and I can see that, but that man might have an arm candy wife and he might not be able to have any intelligent conversation with her. You could be wealthy and miserable. You could be famous and miserable. Do you call that successful? I don’t know. All I can say, about Hart and I, is that we’re definitely a good team!
American Horrors is still a young channel.
This is our 4th year. We have just started getting recognition. In the beginning a lot of people poo pooed us. So, I’m happy where we are now but I want more! I want American Horrors to be bigger and better. Hart and I are having fun with our channel right now. We don’t have to answer to anyone, we’re our own bosses. We have each other, we are doing what we love, and I‘m grateful.
It’s definitely more fun to do this with your partner than doing it alone. If Hart didn’t have me it would have been way harder for him to be doing what he’s doing right now. That’s for sure!
Q: What horror movie/book had a great impact on you while growing up?
A: I grew up in a rural area of Japan. There were only 4 channels on TV, there was only one movie theater in town, which went out of business eventually…. So my first encounter with horror was Japanese horror movie on TV when I was 6 or so. I think it was a black and white old horror movie called “Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan” and it scared me shitless to the point that I couldn’t go to the bathroom at night by myself. Hahaha. But at the same time I was hooked on horror from then on. I was into Japanese horror comics by Kazuo Umezu, too, growing up. Then around 12 or so I discovered American horror movies like The Exorcist, The Omen, Halloween, Friday the 13th and the original Evil Dead. Those were the horror movies that had a great impact on me. My parents were pretty relaxed about me reading horror comics and watching those horror movies at a young age.
Q: Favorite horror music/band
A: I love the soundtrack of Susperia. I don’t know if they’re considered as a “horror band” but my long time love is Death Angel, and I like Marilyn Manson’s first 3 albums, I like the Misfits and DANZIG, which is totally thanks to Hart. He knows Glenn and I’ve met him in person more than a couple times and Glenn is a BIG ball of energy! When he came over to our house for the edit of the music video “On A Wicked Night” in 2009 (yes, Hart edited that video with Glenn) I was still recovering from Cervical cancer and some personal tragedy and I was weak, but as soon as I met him I got better right away like he gave me some of his energy! Hahaha. I’m a fan of his since! I’ve met Doyle, too, because he toured with DANZIG and the Misfits set they did together was so awesome. I’m blessed to be able to see them play together 4 times! Doyle’s solo album is pretty good, too. We play horror themed music videos on American Horrors and we don’t care if they are a major band or not as long as they are good. We play DANZIG and DOYLE music videos, and SLAYER’s music video is coming to our channel pretty soon, and we play independent bands’ music videos, too, like St. Madness, Lockjaw, Chiildren, Terminal A, they are all pretty good. So if any of your readers have horror themed music videos and want us to play on American Horrors channel send your music videos our way, PR@AmericanHorrors.com or firstname.lastname@example.org !
Q: Do you have a favorite scream queen and if so, why is that?
A: Um…. I don’t think I have one! I’m a woman, you know. I like men!!! That doesn’t mean I don’t like women, but I just don’t have any one favorite scream queen….
Q: Favorite horror actor of all times.
A: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Q: An inspirational quote that makes each day better.
A: Everything is working out just fine, so relax and enjoy the ride!
Q: What is your personal definition of horror?
A: Wow… my personal definition of horror…. Good question… I never thought of that before. Ummmmm… I think I love horror because, to me, horror is thrilling and exciting yet safe because it’s only happening on the screen and you know you’ll come out of it fine, like a roller coaster or spook house. I get scared a lot more by spook houses than horror movies though. Hahaha. I don’t get scared or scream much watching horror movies but I scream a lot when I go to a spook house… I love really scary horror movies but I want them to have some humor, too. I don’t like the ones with just gore or just torture much. Does it answer your question??? I’m sorry that I can’t come up with a better definition….
Q: Finally, is there any formula to being a successful female presence within the horror genre?
A: I don’t think there’s any one formula that works for everyone. I think that the important thing is that you enjoy what you do and you follow your gut feeling and don’t listen to other people! Hahaha. People give too much credit to somebody else’s advice and opinions! They may mean well but they don’t know what you want in your life. Only you know best about what you want. So focus on what you want and go for it and ignore everything else! Plus don’t get too hung up on about being a female too much, people are people. Focus on what you want and enjoy the moment!
Thank you very Much Waka, It has been a real experience.
As always we urge everyone to stay tuned to American Horrors, If you missed the Link in the Interview we have a direct link on the main page of the Emerald Gore Society page or Right Below!